Song of the Day: Blaenavon - My Bark Is Your Bite

Song of the Day
06/28/2017
Gabe Pollak
photo by Dave Lichterman

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJ’s think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on The Midday Show with Cheryl Waters, is “My Bark Is Your Bite,” by Blaenavon from That's Your Lot, out now on Atlantic Records.

Blaenavon - My Bark Is Your Bite (MP3)A lot was riding on the release of Blaenavon’s debut album this year. Since signing with lauded London label, Transgressive Records, in 2013, the young British alt-pop trio had opened for Bloc Party, Foals, and Two Door Cinema Club and earned much adoration in under-the-radar profiles from the British music press. Yet, in those four intervening years, they’d only released a few EPs and their first attempt at recording an album had been rejected by higher-ups. Would their debut full-length live up to the hype?

Listen to That’s Your Lot and the answer becomes obvious. Take the mesmerizing destruction of “I Will Be the World,” the raw, lovesick adventure of “Prague ‘99,” or today’s featured song, “My Bark is Your Bite,” and you’ll agree, this is an impressive and versatile debut, the kind you hope for (but don’t necessarily expect) from a band who played Glastonbury before any of the members’ 21st birthday.

“My Bark is Your Bite,” is a polished post-punk gem detailing a romance dependent on dishonesty. Whether it’s a reluctant embrace or an outright lie, each of the singer’s deceits is a double-edged sword, keeping the peace, but wounding the singer. “It cuts like a knife when I lie,” Ben Gregory sings, but “my mind says it’s the best thing to do, for you.” All the signs are there that something is wrong, but the singer is too afraid of the aftershock to drop the bomb. Meanwhile, the song races along with the anxiety of keeping up appearances. Bassist Frank Wright picks a pulsing bassline. On occasion, Gregory’s heavy baritone trips up to a fluttering falsetto, as if he can’t hide his nerves. In the end, it seems, the music saves the pair. After a few choruses, drummer Harris McMillan slices the beat in half, revealing a shiny Editors-like dance groove, the guitar glimmers, bright for a moment, and a dancefloor appears. Gregory concedes: “I'll take one more chance, I'll dance if you'll dance.” Love will tear us apart, but lies - and a well-crafted pop song - will keep us together. At least for now.

Blaenavon recorded a session with KEXP at the Triple Door on June 13th. Stay tuned to the KEXP YouTube page for video from that performance and, for now, enjoy the video for "My Bark Is Your Bite." You can also check Blaenavon's website and Facebook page for info on upcoming tour dates, though, sadly, they've wrapped up most of their U.S. shows for the year.

Related News & Reviews

Song of the Day

Song of the Day: The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - Anymore

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJ’s think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on the M...


Read More
Song of the Day

Song of the Day: Japanese Breakfast - Machinist

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJ’s think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on the M...


Read More
Click anywhere to return to the site